I've had numerous questions lately about whether our wet pattern will continue into the Winter, manifesting itself in heavy snow. First let's talk about where we are so far: We picked up an additional 0.37 inches of rain today bringing our annual total to 50.91 inches. If we don't get another drop of precipitation for the rest of the year we have seen the 4th wettest year on record in St. Louis. Impressive indeed.
The official Winter outlook from the Climate Prediction Center calls for an above normal chance of above normal temperatures for the months of December, January and February. The outlook for precipitation is less clear with equal chances of above or below normal precipitation.
However the good folks at our local National Weather Service office did some interesting research. When you look at the top ten years for precipitation totals in St. Louis and then compare temperatures and precipitation for the following Winters some interesting trends emerge. During Winters following wet years temperatures have not shown any tendency to average above or below normal. But when you look at snowfall following wet years the numbers are quite low. With that in mind we may expect relatively low snowfall for the entire Winter. That certainly does not mean that we won't get any significant individual events. And for the record, 10 years in a sample is not really statistically significant.
For a look at the complete report click here